The book, from a Friend, has been in the making for about 25 years when it was first predicted to me that I would write a book with my two children to tell the world a truth and that there would be no shame in telling that truth. It was confirmed to me several more times over the years which inspired me to write on it again and again. After finding of my son’s murder after his fifteen year absence, and the later suicide of my daughter, I wondered how this would ever happen.

It was on my first 2017 adventure West when my paternal grandmother “rode” with me through deserts to get to my favorite place, Glacier, when she “told” me it was time to go to the desert to write the book. I knew then she was right about what I needed to do but it was her thing, not mine, to write in the desert! I was going to write where I wanted to write! Hmmph!

As I drove back from that 15,000 mile junket, I conjured up the next steps. Travel trailer, pack, visit family and find the right RV park. In my head, it sounded pretty simple. It was until I learned just how many Snow Birds from ALL US northern states & Canada flee to the desert…any desert…for their winter retreat or permanent residence! They book a year in advance which meant I had slim pickings! Hurricane, Utah was wonderful in November and I got quite a bit done, but finding an equally beautiful and weather friendly place was going to challenge me, landing me to be in the middle of what I later deemed to be the ugliest part of the Mojave Desert with only one spot left where I wanted to be…close to the Office.

I planned to stay there through February but the constant high winds and ugly surroundings and isolation took its tole on me. By the end of December, I’d written 8-10 hours most every day for months in an alien environment and was ready for green, rain and comforts of home. The proof in the pudding was the day I actually got “car sick” from the constant 60-mile an hour winds while sitting at the table writing on the book! That was it! I planned my exit for the end of January. I counted down the hours until I could head home! Driven like the mad woman I was, I made it in two and a half days dragging that 4000 pounds behind me.

I slept in front of my woodturning stove through all of last February and March only waking at first appearance of sun on April 1st!

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My brain is always writing. When I “woke’ up on April 1st, I realized my brain had stopped writing. And, at first, I wasn’t concerned as I understood that my brain needed a break. My concern reared its ugly head when a couple more months passed it was still silent.  I kept waiting. But, in the meantime…this happened while I was making other plans!

After returning from my trip to Florida May/June, the summer proved to be one challenge after another which included three river floods, a burst outside water pipe, snakes around my house looking for dryer digs, in-house ant invasions for same reason, illness, anxiety, horrid combo of heat/humidity, a meltdown on my daughter’s birthday, all to be topped off with being bedridden about a month with sciatic nerve back pain.

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Water Pipe repair

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Flooding river

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SNAKES!

The good news is that all I needed was a reminder from Ava’s oldest and dearest friends who texted me during her own health battle, “I wonder what it is the Lord is wanting me to learn from this.” Her reminder triggered the question about all the summer/fall battles I’d had. God immediately answered with my own Donna’ism: “FEAR is a four letter word that starts with F that we do to ourselves!” I also received the word “Faith.” I started praying for release of the pain and, literally, felt the muscles in both my neck/shoulders and lower back unwind like a released tightly wound rubber band. The pain was totally, instantaneously and miraculously GONE! And, it was and still is! Call it what you will but I’m telling it true!

It was then that I started embracing the Holidays with a rejuvenated spirit not present for a decade! I planned a Thanksgiving meal for one with joy where in days of old it was for no less than twenty! On Thanksgiving Day, I celebrated my passed parents and children with our decades old traditions of black/white Christmas movies, decorating the tree and decking the halls! I was joyful! What a blessing! The extra blessing was that it continued all through the rest of the year and now, for the first time in a year, my brain is writing again! My only challenge is to get to the computer fast enough to remember what I wrote in my head!

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from days of old Christmas Fire

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and Christmas Morn celebrations

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to my $5.00, 18″ Wonder Woman Christmas Tree decoration celebration

2018 was quite an adventure with many hidden blessings. I’m still processing it all, but in the meantime, I’m happy to announce that “it” is coming back to me and I’ve started on the Prologue!

Happy New Year! And, Happy Trails…until we meet again!